Being Kind While Getting on the El?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, August 25, 2014

CTA elevated trains, near Adams and Wabash. Photo credit - David Harrison

CTA elevated trains, near Adams and Wabash.
Photo credit – David Harrison

Being Kind While Getting on the El?

I had an opportunity to be kind today, and I did not take advantage of it. Yes, I purposely said “No” to a really nice young man. I believe he was from a foreign country. He could speak quite credible English! (Much better than I could do in any foreign language, even when I was marginally fluent, years ago.)

Yes, I felt very badly. Abysmal. I could just feel my heart sink when I said “No.” I knew I had to get on the El myself and go downtown for a business meeting. I was meeting with several other people, and I was on a strict time schedule. I knew I would have ordinarily, quite willingly helped him. But, not today. I quickly checked to see that a CTA employee was coming over to assist him—and the nice man was, I could tell. I was relieved, believe me!

When I got up to the platform, sure enough. The inbound El pulled up to the platform in less than two minutes. Since it was later morning, there were several seats available. I seated myself and pulled out my book.

I need to make a confession: I enjoy murder mysteries. However, lately, I have been so terribly busy (and this blog is one thing that does take time each day, time that I’d probably otherwise spend on reading). I got a twinge of guilt as I sat reading, taking some genuine pleasure in this mystery. It was (is!) a wonderful mystery, too. I have recently discovered the Phryne Fisher mystery series, but haven’t read any of them yet. Until today. I’m now one third of my way through the initial book of the series. Superb writing! Clever dialogue, and the protagonist is quite a piece of work, too.

I still thought about that young man. After I told him I couldn’t help him out with his fare card, he looked all forlorn. Yes, I enjoyed my book, once I got up the stairs and onto the train! But, I did feel guilty, all the same. Both at the time, and afterwards, too.

Which leads me to wonder: how much is concentrating on “being kind” taking me away from other things? Like, reading for pleasure? (I have several of Ms. Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mysteries waiting for me. Patiently waiting.) Although, writing this blog is definitely a pleasure for me, too.

Oh, I was kind to several people downtown, after my meeting. Just in case anyone was keeping score at home. I wonder what God will bring my way tomorrow? I can’t wait to see.


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You Help Me, I Help You!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, April 5, 2014

SERVE serve one another Eph 4-11

You Help Me, I Help You!

I’ve spoken here about getting prepared for some remodeling of our bathroom. A facelift, as I like to think of it. Today, I went out in search of more supplies. I need to have just about everything ready for the contractor when he arrives on Monday morning. So, there we were, my daughter and I. At the huge do-it-yourself big box store.

I guess I’m rather a novice at this sort of thing. I have rarely bought anything larger than a birdbath at one of these stores. Either that, or I’ve bought enough paint for a couple of rooms on several occasions. I felt like a kid in a candy store! Imagine, being able to choose the type of tile and the type of vanity I want. (I take pleasure in the small things in life. Or, I’m just easily pleased.)

The gentleman who helped us was great. He was kind, friendly, and especially helpful with suggestions for the vanity. (We have a modest condo, and small bathroom—therefore, small vanity.) He left us alone after a short time so my daughter and I could finish collecting the towel bars and the faucet for the sink, but assured us he would be around if we needed him.

As we made our way to the register in the front of the store, my daughter, the store employee and I chatted some more about the upcoming work. I checked out of the store and the clerk helped us to our car with the things we had bought. After he finished loading the rear of our vehicle, he handed me a small piece of paper with his name, store and employee number listed. He asked me—in a sort of shy way—whether I might be able to rate him and his customer service. I gave him a smile (my usual wide, friendly type of smile). “Sure! I’d be happy to do that.”

I don’t often follow through with the online form. For example, when a cashier at the grocery store hands me a form like that, I realize I have had minimal contact with him or her. I know they are told to give them to customers, but I feel very little reason to actually go on line. (I am not sure whether that makes me a “bad person” or not, but that’s the way I think right now.)

The duplicated form he handed me caused me to think about the time we spent together. I felt perfectly comfortable with him. As I said, he was cordial, helpful and friendly. The only thing that I really regretted was that I hadn’t asked his name.

I found out his name as I looked at the form. Reggie. Here’s a shout out to you, my friend! As far as I was concerned, you were absolutely great, Reggie. I hope you are the same way with every other customer you meet. God’s blessings be yours.

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